Do you know the amazing story about a strong female with a dream behind the famous yellow labeled wine? Veuve Clicquot is more than just a bottle of champagne.
Veuve Clicquot or “Widow” Clicquot, is one of the the most well-known champagne brands in the world. In fact, without Veuve Clicquot’s innovative spirit and determination champagne wouldn’t be where it is today. The unmistakable yellow label sticks out just like the champagne’s historical significance.
Here are 10 things you should know about Veuve Clicquot.
1. It Was Founded Over 200 Years Ago
Philippe Clicquot was the founder of this now famous champagne house in France back in 1772. That was 4 years before the Declaration of Independence was signed and adopted in the United States!
Philippe was the son of bankers and textile merchants, but they owned a variety of vineyards on the side.
2. The WOMAN Behind it All
In 1805 Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin, or Madame Clicquot as she is better known as, took over as the owner of the business. Her husband François Clicquot, the founder’s son and heir to Veuve Clicquot had died from what many believe to be typhoid.
Barbe and François were only married for 7 years before François’ unexpected death. This left the head-strong and business-minded Madame Clicquot in charge. She was a bit before her time, but she was determined to prove herself to the male-dominated business world.[mc4wp_form id=”7238″]
3. Veuve Clicquot Means Widow Clicquot
When translated from French “Veuve Clicquot” means “widow Clicquot”.
Madame Clicquot became the “veuve clicquot” after just 7 years of marriage to the heir of the champagne house.
4. It Created the First Ever Vintage Champagne
A wine’s vintage is determined by the date they were harvested.
During this time the world was a crazy place, with war raging there were many failed vintages from until 1810. In 1810 Veuve Clicquot created their first single vintage champagne. This is rare because most champagnes are non-vintage. Champagne houses only decide to make a single-vintage wine when there is an exceptionally good harvest.
This became a huge success in 1811 and the vintage was called “the year of the comet” because of the comet that had flown over the area during the production of the grapes, giving them their excellent quality.
5. The Original “Rosé All Day”
Veuve Clicquot was the first producer of rosé champagne!
Madame Clicquot didn’t like tradition and tried to break away from it whenever possible. She called her creation Rosé d’assemblage. She made this by adding in red wines from Bouzy, creating the famous pink color!
6. It Invented the Riddling Rack
Champagne is made with yeast, and during fermentation these yeast particles are collected inside the bottle.
Originally winemakers would have to remove yeast by transferring it from bottle to bottle. This was time consuming, costly, and could damage the wine due to it being exposed to the air.
Madame Clicquot and the house’s cellar master created the riddling rack. This is a rack that allowed for the bottles to be stored upside down. At regular intervals, workers turn the bottles, which allows for the yeast in the bottles to accumulate in the neck, making it easier to be removed before being sold.
This also allowed for champagne to be mass produced since this method was not as time consuming! There are many champagne and sparkling wine makers that still use this method today.
7. The Famous Yellow Label
We know you’ve seen it!
Veuve Clicquot wine bottles are known for their bright yellow label. This label started to show up in 1835 and became officially trademarked in 1877. This means this label has been used on bottles for more than 180 years!
The label helped Veuve Clicquot stand out as a dry champagne compared to the sweeter British champagnes on the shelf.
8. Veuve Clicquot was Acquired by LV
In 1986 Louis Vuitton Acquired Veuve Clicquot.
The price they paid? There is only speculation, no one really knows how high the price tag was, but we’re guessing it was BIG.
9. It Hosts the Polo Classic
Each year (well maybe not this year) Veuve Clicquot is the sponsor of the Polo Classic.
Held in New York and Los Angeles, it is a celebrity hot spot and anybody who is anybody is there!
10. The Baltic Sea Discovery
In 2010, 47 bottles of Veuve Clicquot were discovered off the coast of Finland in a shipwreck.
The date on those bottles? Between 1825-1830. Even though the bottles were well over a hundred years old and underwater, they were well persevered.
In 2011, one of these bottles was auctioned off at the super low price of 33,000 euros, which is about $39,000 USD. Just your everyday price for a bottle of champagne!
In Vino Finito
Did you know these facts about Veuve Clicquot? We love Veuve’s history of innovation and daring.
If these facts have got you craving a glass of the bubbly stuff, try our new sparkling wine from Washington’s Columbia Valley, Stigma. These are elegant wines made using the Traditional Method – just like Veuve Clicquot – and with beautiful floral notes.
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My wife and I drink it every weekend.
Thanks for the historical info.
Gerald and Jo Schneider